Events - May 19
1847 - The first English-style railroad coach was placed in service on the Fall River Line in Massachusetts.
1857 - William F. Channing and Moses G. Farmer patented the electric fire alarm system in Boston, MA: the first city to adopt the system.
1921 - The first opera presented in its entirety over the radio was broadcast by 9ZAF in Denver, CO. The opera, "Martha", aired from the Denver Auditorium.
1928 - The Pride of San Joaquin Valley was declared the winner of the first frog-jumping jubilee held in Calaveras County, CA. The froggy jumped three feet, four inches, higher than 49 other frogs entered in the contest. The true beginnings of the frog jubilee date back to gold rush days, an event instigated by none other than Mark Twain.
1941 - The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra backed the popular singing duo of Bob Eberly and Helen O’Connell as Decca record number 3859 turned out to be "Time Was" -- a classic.
1952 - Yoshio Shirai defeated flyweight champion Dado Marino in Tokyo to become Japan’s first world-boxing champ.
1958 - Bobby Darin’s single, "Splish Splash", was released as the first eight-track master recording pressed to a plastic 45 RPM disc.
1965 - Roger Miller received a gold record for the hit, "King of the Road". The song was Miller’s biggest hit record. It got to number four (3/20/65) on the pop charts and stayed on for 12 weeks. It was a number one country music hit (3/27/65) as well. Miller, a country singer, humorist, guitarist and composer from Fort Worth, TX and raised in Oklahoma, went to Nashville, TN in the mid-1950s to begin a songwriting career. He wrote songs and played drums for Faron Young in 1962, then won what was an unprecedented six Grammy Awards in 1965, had his own TV show in 1966 and had five tunes in the top ten in 1968. To top it off, he composed the music for the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, "Big River" in 1985. (Miller died Oct 25, 1992 of throat cancer.)
1968 - Piano stylist and vocalist Bobby Short gained national attention as he presented a concert with Mabel Mercer at New York’s Town Hall. He had been the featured artist at the intimate Hotel Carlisle for years.
1973 - Secretariat won the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown by capturing the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, MD. The famed horse later went on to win the Belmont Stakes in New York to earn the Triple Crown with jockey Ron Turcotte as the rider.
1973 - Stevie Wonder moved to the number one position on the "Billboard" pop music chart with "You are the Sunshine of My Life". It was the third number one song for Wonder, following earlier successes with "Fingertips - Pt 2" (8/10/63) and "Superstition" (1/27/73). He would have seven more number one hits between 1973 and 1987: "You Haven’t Done Nothin’", "I Wish", "Sir Duke", "Ebony & Ivory" (with Paul McCartney), "I Just Called to Say I Love You", "Part-Time Lover" and "That’s What Friends are For".
1984 - The Edmonton Oilers defeated the New York Islanders by a 5-2 score to win the Stanley Cup. The win by the Oilers ended Islanders’ domination of the National Hockey League the previous four seasons.
Birthdays - May 19
1800 - Sarah Peale (portrait artist; died Feb 4, 1885)
1890 - Ho Chi Mihn (Nguyen That Thanh) (North Vietnamese leader: trail and city named after him; died Sep 3, 1969)
1901 - Dorothy Buffum Chandler (Los Angeles cultural patron; widow of LA Times publisher Norman Chandler; mother of publisher Otis Chandler; Dorothy Chandler Pavillion named for her; died July 6, 1997)
1906 - Bruce Bennett (Herman Brix) (actor: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Dark Passage, Angels in the Outfield; died Feb 24, 2007)
1919 - Georgie Auld (John Altwerger) (musician: saxophones: bandleader; actor: The Rat Race, dubbed soundtrack for Robert DeNero in New York, New York; died Jan 8, 1990)
1925 - Malcolm X (Malcolm Little) (black nationalist and civil rights activist; assassinated Feb 21, 1965)
1928 - Gil (Gilbert James) McDougald (baseball: NY Yankees [AL Rookie of the Year: 1951/World Series: 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960/all-star: 1952, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959; died Nov 28, 2010)
1928 - Dolph Schayes (Basketball Hall of Famer: Syracuse Nationals, Philadelphia Warriors; coach: Philadelphia ’76ers, Buffalo Braves, NBA Coach of the Year ; NBA’s Silver Anniversary Team ; died Dec 10, 2015)
1929 - Curt (Curtis Thomas) Simmons (baseball: pitcher: Philadelphia Phillies [all-star: 1952, 1953, 1957], SL Cardinals [World Series: 1964], Chicago Cubs, California Angels)
1930 - Lorraine Hansberry (playwright: A Raisin in the Sun, To Be Young, Gifted and Black; died Jan 12, 1965)
1934 - Jim Lehrer (PBS: journalist: anchor: The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer; co-anchor: The MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour; novelist: Blue Hearts)
1935 - David Hartman (Emmy Award-winning TV host: Good Morning America; actor: Hello Dolly, Lucas Tanner, The Bold Ones)
1939 - James Fox (actor: Patriot Games, The Russia House, A Passage to India)
1939 - Nancy Kwan (actress: The World of Suzie Wong, Flower Drum Song, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story)
1939 - Francis R. (Dick) Scobee (Commander of the ill-fated U.S. space shuttle, Challenger; killed in Challenger explosion Jan 28, 1986)
1939 - Stephen Young (Levy) (actor: Judd for the Defense, Patton, Scorned, Who’s Harry Crumb?, Deadline, Lifeguard, When Husbands Cheat, Strange Justice)
1941 - Nora Ephron (author: Heartburn, Sleepless in Seattle; died Jun 26, 2012)
1945 - Peter Townshend (musician: group: The Who [Rock and Roll Hall of Famers (1990)]: My Generation, Happy Jack, I Can See for Miles, Magic Bus, Won’t Get Fooled Again; composed rock-opera: Tommy, See Me, Feel Me, Pinball Wizard; solo: Rough Boys, Let My Love Open the Door, Uniforms, Exquisitely Bored, The Sea Refuses No River)
1949 - Dusty Hill (musician: bass, singer: group: ZZ Top: Jesus Just Left Chicago, LA Grange, Tush, Gimme All Your Lovin’, Legs, Sharp Dressed Man, Sleeping Bag)
1949 - Archie Manning (football [quarterback]: Univ of Mississippi; NFL: New Orleans Saints [NFC Player of the Year ; Houston Oilers; Minnesota Vikings)
1952 - Grace Jones (Mendoza) (singer: Slave to the Rhythm; actress: A View to a Kill, Conan the Destroyer, Deadly Vengeance)
1952 - Mike Nott (football: BC Lions [CFL])
1954 - Rick (Richard Aldo) Cerone (baseball: Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, NY Yankees [World Series: 1981], Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Red Sox, NY Mets, Montreal Expos)
1954 - Phil Rudd (musician: drums: group: AC-DC: LPs: Let There Be Rock, Powerage, Highway to Hell, Dirty Deeds Done Cheap, For Those About to Rock)
1956 - Steven (Meigs) Ford (actor: When Harry Met Sally, Body Count, Eraser, Contact, Armageddon; son of former U.S. President Gerald R. and Betty Ford)
1956 - Martyn Ware (musician: synthesizer: groups: The Human League: LP: Reproduction; Heaven 17: We Don’t Need This Fascist Groove Thang, Temptation, Crushed by the Wheels of Industry)
Chart Toppers - May 19
Mam’selle - Art Lund
Linda - Buddy Clark with the Ray Noble Orchestra
My Adobe Hacienda - Eddy Howard
New Jolie Blonde (New Pretty Blonde) - Red Foley
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado
Unchained Melody - Les Baxter
A Blossom Fell - Nat King Cole
In the Jailhouse Now - Webb Pierce
If You Wanna Be Happy - Jimmy Soul
Surfin’ USA - The Beatles
Foolish Little Girl - The Shirelles
Lonesome 7-7203 - Hawkshaw Hawkins
Joy to the World - Three Dog Night
Never Can Say Goodbye - The Jackson 5
Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones
I Won’t Mention It Again - Ray Price
Reunited - Peaches & Herb
Hot Stuff - Donna Summer
In the Navy - Village People
If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me - Bellamy Brothers
With or Without You - U2
The Lady in Red - Chris DeBurgh
Heat of the Night - Bryan Adams
To Know Him is to Love Him - Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris
Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...
Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams
Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
from 440 International
No portion of these files may be reproduced without the express, written permission of 440 International Inc.